Trump has been busy making calls to allies in the Senate and other supporters to gauge if they too felt it was time for a leadership change, people familiar with the conversations told the Wall Street Journal.
But lawmakers and their aides say there’s apparently little interest in finding a Kentucky Republican to run against McConnell.
However, they added that even having the conversations will likely further deepen the divide between the two Republican leaders – one a reigning establishment figure with more than three decades in the Senate, the other a former president who still has outsized influence on the party.
DailyMail.com has reached out to McConnell’s campaign for comment.
Trump wouldn’t tell the Wall Street Journal whether he was personally scoping the field for a potential challenger.
But he said Senate Republicans ‘ought to’ push him out themselves.
‘I think he’s very bad for the Republican Party,’ Trump said.
Former President Trump is reportedly looking for someone to mount a primary challenge against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, though he denied personally scouting for candidates himself
And with President Joe Biden’s approval rating continuing to slip, the GOP is looking for the path forward to seize on Democrats’ weaknesses.
In Congress, it appears even Trump allies are toeing party line for now.
Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, who was endorsed and lauded by Trump, shied away from defending the former president.
‘I’m not going to get in that fight,’ Tuberville told the Wall Street Journal, adding that McConnell ‘is doing a good job.’
Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana, also a Trump supporter, told the outlet Trump’s chances of ousting McConnell are close to that of a donkey learning to fly.
‘I just don’t realistically see that happening,’ Kennedy said.
It’s the latest shot taken in the Trump-McConnell rift, which has only grown since the former president lost in November.
The highest-ranking Republican in elected office, McConnell is a political insider who is the 16th-longest serving Senator in history, according to data from the Senate website.
Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville, a staunch ally of Trump’s, demurred when asked which side he was on and said McConnell is doing ‘a good job’
Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said Trump’s chances of getting McConnell out of power were close to that of a donkey learning to fly
He’s led the Senate GOP since he was chosen to be Minority Leader in 2006.
McConnell backed Trump for most of his term but drew a line with the former president’s attempts to overturn the election.
Speaking on the Senate floor on January 6 ahead of the election certification vote, McConnell said lawmakers had a duty to uphold the will of the people and dismissed the former president’s claims the race was rigged.
‘It would be unfair and wrong to disenfranchise American voters and overrule the courts and the states on this thin basis,’ McConnell had said.
Later that same day, after violent Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, McConnell issued a forceful rebuke in which he held the former president ‘morally responsible’ for the riot.
However, when it came time to vote on impeachment over the attack, McConnell said the Senate lacked jurisdiction to boot a former president out of office.
The two have even disagreed on policy matters.
McConnell said Trump was ‘morally responsible’ for the Capitol riot on January 6 though he refused to vote for impeachment after he left office
McConnell was one of 19 Republicans who voted in favor of a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill.
Afterwards he dismissed criticism from Trump and fellow Republicans who accused McConnell of handing Democrats a victory in the 2022 midterms.
The Kentucky lawmaker said infrastructure was ‘popular’ on both sides of the aisle.
Shortly before the vote, Trump released a scathing statement directed at McConnell.
‘Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed. He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow,’ he said, referring to the Democrat-backed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill also working through Congress.
‘He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country.’
But as that election cycle looms, the GOP is already seeing budding feuds between pro-Trump candidates and establishment Republicans.